Steve Biondi, R.N., Vice President of clinical services at Extendicaare Health Services, Inc.

Steve Biondi, R.N.

Vice President of clinical services

Extendicare Health Services, Inc.

111 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee, WI

www.extendicare.com

Industry: Long-term care

Number of employees: 20,000

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

“As a health care organization that provides services to about 15,000 people daily in the United States with over 20,000 employees, we believe one of the most important things we can do is take care of our team. This past year, Extendicare launched a wellness campaign at its corporate office here in Milwaukee. We wanted to identify ways we could help the over 500 employees, here in our home office, take an active approach to health. We surveyed the employees and asked what they would like to learn about, what they already know, and what would peak their interest. The response was amazing, and some wonderful ideas were generated. Since then, we’ve started a Weight Watchers at Work group that is now in its second series with over 775 pounds lost and still rising. A walking club walks weekly, we provide monthly blood pressure screenings and brown bag lunches with guest presenters on a variety of topics related to living healthier, we have incorporated flu season awareness and free vaccinations, our café menus have been changed to include more healthy options, and we even changed the snack machines to offer healthier choices. I found that out myself when I went to buy some chocolate and there wasn’t any in the machine! Overall, the reaction and support has been fantastic”

What’s new at your company?

“Our wellness initiative has brought much enthusiasm and a healthier lifestyle to our team. Helping to launch this initiative, our president and CEO, Tim Lukenda, has been with us just over a year and has been instrumental in gaining the support needed to truly adopt this campaign corporate-wide.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“With the proposed cuts to Medicare, the opportunity to enhance our health will become even more important to our team members. Finding creative ways to do more with less and not burn out our staff in the process will be a major goal for all of our leadership. Introducing more initiatives to further enhance our wellness campaign, I believe, will help in this process. We also plan to extend different aspects of our wellness campaign to the over 186 health centers that we operate throughout the U.S.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“One of the largest trends we are seeing in the health care field is the use of electronic medical records. As V.P. of clinical services, I have been working with our clinical staff to implement pilot projects enhancing the use of electronic medical records in a long term care setting. In addition, we are also seeing an increased desire from the next generation of residents, baby-boomers, for a more resident-directed care environment, where individuals expect more amenities, enhanced dining services, state-of-the-art technologies and more private rooms, along with involvement in the care they receive and choices in their daily living.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“Yes, live each day and enjoy every aspect of it. By doing that, good things will happen, as optimism is contagious.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“The best advice I have been given is to be proactive and never let anyone convince me to change what I stand for. Believe in yourself.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“A lot of different things, but mostly just staying active in a variety of ways – either biking , running, or being outside with my two whippets. I just enjoy being out in the fresh air.”

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